OCEAN CITY — Ryann Styer and Maggie Wallace have gotten pretty used to competing in the South Jersey Group B swimming finals.
The Ocean City High School seniors will do so again for a fourth straight year. And they hope to join an elite group in the program's history.
On Thursday, the second-seeded Red Raiders will face off against top-seeded Moorestown in the sectional final 5 p.m. at Gloucester County Institute of Technology. They are going for a fifth straight sectional title.
Last year's class, which featured standout Amanda Nunan, who is with NCAA Division I University of Tennessee, was the first in program history with a clean sweep of the sectional title.
Wallace and Styer hope to become the second.
"It's really important," said Styer, 18, of Longport. "My sophomore year we won states and got as far as we can go. It was amazing. We're trying to have the team work back to that point. Maggie and I know we're trying to have this team lead us off on a high note."
On Monday, the Red Raiders toppled third-seeded Shawnee 91-79 in the semifinal. They got four wins apiece from Wallace and Styer, got several key wins from other swimmers.
But they also got key bonus points from girls such as freshman Alex Antonov, sophomore Claudia Scherbin and junior Andrea Teofanova. Along with those three, several others picked up key third, fourth and fifth-place finishes.
That type of performance is what will be key for O.C. if it wants to beat a very deep and very tough Moorestown team.
"You can't win these meets with just two girls," Keyser said. "It comes down to those outside lanes and those other B and C swimmers because that's where you get points."
Wallace and Styer provide the Red Raiders stability in the relays. But they also have their strengths.
Wallace won the 200- and 400-meter freestyles Monday. Styer is Ocean City's speediest sprinter and anchored all three of the relays. She also excels in the 50 free.
But it's not just them. Antonov, Scherbin and Teofanova were among the winners Monday. Teofanova also had a huge second-place finish behind Scherbin in the 100 free.
"At this point, me getting first is just as important as those girls getting third or fourth place," said Wallace, 18, of Ocean City.
"They've been huge," Wallace continued. "Teofanova especially has been in our relays. All the girls - Claudia, Alex, Andrea, Brynn Bowman, Eve (Chiarello), Brooke (Powell) - they've all been really huge this year. They've really stepped it up for all of us because we did lose Amanda and Aleva (Parker) which were big for us last year. For them to step up and be able to do this has been absolutely fantastic."
Ocean City (9-2) will need a stronger effort than Monday if it wants to keep its winning streak alive in South Jersey. Moorestown (10-1) beat fifth-seeded Mainland Regional 99-71 on Monday in the other semifinal.
Ocean City beat Moorestown 87.5-82.5 in last year's sectional final.
"However far we can get is what we're shooting for," Styer said. "We're happy we can go that far to the South Jersey final because it's really prestigious getting that far. We're excited to see what's going to happen Thursday and hopefully we can do our best and swim well."
At Ocean City Aquatic & Fitness Center, meters
200 Medley Relay—Ocean City (Maggie Wallace, Eve Chiarello, Claudia Scherbin, Ryann Styer) 2:04.80; 200 Freestyle—Wallace OC 2:06.86; 200 IM—Alex Antonov OC 2:29.73; 50 Freestyle—Styer OC 26.38; 100 Butterfly—Lindsey Monaco S 1:07.12; 100 Freestyle—Scherbin OC 1:03.50; 400 Freestyle—Wallace OC 4:22.14; 200 Freestyle Relay—Ocean City (Antonov, Brooke Powell, Scherbin, Styer) 1:54.17; 100 Backstroke—Monaco S 1:11.04; 100 Breaststroke—Jemma Mesisca S 1:21.60; 400 Freestyle Relay—Ocean City (Wallace, Teofanova, Antonov, Styer) 4:09.01.
Records—S 6-5, OC 9-2.